Whitehorse Daily Star

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BACK IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE - Yukon MP Larry Bagnell addresses the scores of supporters who turned out Tuesday evening to congratulate him on his election victory(left) COURTESY VISIT - Yukon MP Larry Bagnell (left) receives a visit Tuesday evening from his closest electoral opponent, Conservative Darrell Pasloski.

Bagnell racks up fourth straight win

And it's off to Ottawa again for the Yukon's MP of eight years.

By Stephanie Waddell on October 15, 2008

And it's off to Ottawa again for the Yukon's MP of eight years.

On Tuesday, Yukoners voted to send Liberal MP Larry Bagnell back to Ottawa for a fourth straight term.

Addressing a capacity crowd gathered at the Legends Smoke House and Grill restaurant at the Yukon Inn Tuesday evening, Bagnell vowed to both co-operate with other parties in Ottawa where he could and fight for his constituents at the same time.

As the campaign headed into its last weeks when the economic uncertainty hit the stock markets, Bagnell said he heard a concern unique to any of his election campaigns as Yukoners worried about their savings, mortgages, jobs and futures.

"This needs a response by parliamentarians," he said. "And I can tell you, I'll use every ounce of the experience that I've had in eight years to fight to make sure that government helps out wherever they can in these dire times."

Bagnell then noted it will take co-operation, and vowed the Liberal opposition will do everything it can to work with his federal counterparts regardless of the party banner they were elected under.

"But I can tell you that while I will co-operate for the common good, what I will not do is remain silent when the rights or the funding for women, for aboriginal people, for artists, for literacy, for bilingualism, for multiculturalism, for the sick and for the poor are eroded.

"I will stand up up and fight for you and fight for the Yukon!" he said as the room erupted into cheering and applause.

Many supporters held campaign signs or had a "Larry Works For Me" pin displayed on their shirts or jackets.

Bagnell, 58, took the Yukon seat with 6,567 votes, or 45.3 per cent of the vote.

His closest competitor was Conservative Darrell Pasloski, who took 4,758 of the ballots, or 32.8 per cent.

Green Party candidate John Streicker ended up with 1,880 votes or 13 per cent, and NDP candidate Ken Bolton emerged with 1,306 or nine per cent of the votes.

The results represent close to a three per cent decrease for Bagnell from the 2006 election, when he ended up with 48.2 per cent of the vote, or 6,847 ballots cast.

After his speech, Bagnell told reporters he had never been up against such strong candidates from each party.

"It was a much harder campaign in that respect, and we did what we always do and put every ounce of effort into the campaign and it turned out well," he told the crowd, adding it was a hard, six-week fight.

Congratulating Pasloski on his hard work in the Conservative campaign, Bagnell said he's never had anyone run against him 1 1/2 years before an election and put so much work into it.

Similarly, he also offered his praise to Bolton for a professional, passionate, issue-focused campaign.

The MP also said Streicker raised the level of debate throughout the campaign in choosing to run for a party that's "here to stay".

Before commenting on the other campaigns, Bagnell first thanked his wife, Melissa Craig, who, at eight months pregnant, worked as hard as anyone else involved on the campaign, as well as getting the family moved.

The thank-yous in his speech were also extended to the numerous campaign workers and Yukoners in general.

As he and Craig walked into the room, they were greeted to chants of "Larry, Larry, Larry!" and greeted with hugs and handshakes from supporters as they took the long route through the room, greeting everyone.

Reaching the podium, he took a moment to sigh, then laugh before applause erupted again after he told everyone: "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."

As he praised his campaign workers, he told them they had fought for a Liberal vision of Canada, where government has an important role to play.

"It ensures that we have sound money management so that us, as one of the wealthiest countries in the world, will never go into debt again.

"It's a Liberal vision of low taxes, of a just society, of a green society, of a leader of integrity and vision, and most important a society where all Canadians rise together on the rising tide of prosperity so that everyone is part of that and so that no one is left behind and no Canadians have to walk that lonely path of sickness or of poverty without all of us helping out," Bagnell said. He told his applauding supporters they should be proud to have fought for that Liberal vision of Canada.

Ending his victory speech, Bagnell said he's often worked until the early-morning hours on Parliament Hill. In spite of the lack of sleep, he's energized by Yukoners "because it's given me the great honour to represent you at the heart of the greatest democracy in the world."

While Bagnell declined to comment much on leadership issues, he did note that Harper appears to be the "big loser" in calling an unnecessary election that was almost illegal (given the plan for fixed -date elections) in the hopes of getting a majority government.

"I think that's something people are going to be thinking about very seriously," he said.

After spending $300 million on an election, he added, the country has ended up with a very similar minority government to what was there before.

Being in opposition in a minority government, Bagnell said, he will continue to speak up for the Yukon and serve Yukoners as he did under in the last government.

During the last session, the Yukon MP was the Liberal critic for Northern Affairs.

Bagnell is getting set for the birth of his first child ,and remains confident he can balance his work and the new addition to his family.

He said it's difficult enough in a marriage without kids to leave for Ottawa on the Sunday morning flight after returning each weekend.

However, Bagnell also said there are others, such as those in the military, who have to leave their families for months at a time, much longer than he ever has to be away for.

"I think we're going to have a baby that attends more events than other babies because I will be taking him or her with me," he said.

While the celebration ended with cheers for Bagnell at the Yukon Inn's restaurant, it had started more quietly in the smaller Alder Room where supporters gathered to watch CBC television coverage of the national results.

As the clock moved past 7 p.m., when polls in the territory closed, Craig stepped into the room holding campaign signs.

"We can put these signs up, right? It's past 7 (p.m.)," she said to the two or three people in the room.

The plastic covers then came off the snacks -- veggies and dip, cheese, meat, and bread and dip - that were on the tables, also decorated with roses, and supporters slowly flowed into the room.

As national results showed 143 seats going to the Conservatives, former Yukon senator Ione Christensen said that beyond the next government being a minority, she wasn't sure what the night would bring.

"It's so volatile; it's like the stock market," she said.

While unsure about the national scene, she remained fairly certain that Bagnell would be re-elected.

"I think he certainly should be," she said. "I'd be surprised if he didn't."

Finally, local results began to flow in with campaign officials coming into the room to announce them.

Early in the evening, Bagnell and Pasloski remained close in the polls that came in. With 25 of the 93 polls reporting, Bagnell had 1,020 votes compared to Pasloski's 937.

The difference then began to grow as more polls came in.

With 56 polls reporting, campaign manager Shayne Fairman entered the room to announce that at 3,101 votes for Bagnell and 2,409 for Pasloski, the MP had almost a 700-point lead.

Fairman also said he had a call from Dawson city.

"Larry won Dawson big time," he announced.

While official poll-by-poll results won't be available until later this week, Fairman said this morning he's also learned that Bagnell came out with 23 fewer votes than Pasloski in the Watson Lake poll. Pasloski had 208 votes there compared to Bagnell's 185.

As the celebration continued, more and more of the territorial Liberal caucus continued to arrive including leader Arthur Mitchell, who noted that with the legislature not sitting, he had more time to volunteer with the federal campaign this time around.

"People understand that Larry works hard and brings the Yukon message to Ottawa, not the other way around," Mitchell said in an interview, noting his confidence that Bagnell would take the riding.

Though all the bills for the campaign still have to come in, Fairman "guesstimated" that somewhere between $55,000 to $60,000 was spent on this election, with most of the campaign materials - except for federal materials out of Ottawa - being produced locally.

Comments (10)

Up 0 Down 0

BC Yukoner on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:00 pm

Arn, may you and Hannity live happily ever after. You made my point. :)

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Arn Anderson on Oct 24, 2008 at 7:29 am

Im glad you see I have good talking points, but again, the point is still " what did Bagnell ever do for the Yukon?

Time to evaluate your political spectrum. Center Left, define it? because you cant. NDP and Green party are way to left. Add up what votes? 58% of the population, sorry, you need better DATA then that to convince me that canada is a center left.

Doesnt matter who runs against Bagnell, he is a incumbent, hard to beat a incumbent, but Paloski was close then anyone else, pretty good for a 1st timer. Look at Yukons political history, Yukoners tend not to vote for change, they tend to vote for whom they are comfortable with, regardless of party. So keep on sucking it up to Bagnell, but i guarantee you, Bagnell looks out for Bagnell not the Yukon.

On another note: If Sean Hannity was MP for the Yukon, you would actually see results, results you can actually see and be proud of.

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BC Yukoner on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:04 am

Good talking points Arn. You could be the Sean Hannity of Canada. Or better yet, run for the Yukon conservatives so you can be the next guy who can lose to Bagnell.

You are stuck in a Center left country. Deal with it. Add up the votes for Green, NDP, and Liberal. I have no problem with Harper having a minority. Can't screw up the country too badly. I fear the far right shift if you ever got a majority. The party has done a good job muting them, but you would hear them in a majority. Thankfully, it will never happen. It won't happen in the Yukon. Pasloski couldn't beat Bagnell with the Liberals running a horrible national campaign and Harper in power. Bad sign.

Up 0 Down 0

Arn Anderson on Oct 20, 2008 at 12:57 pm

Sorry BC Yukoner, wasnt it Dion whining about the economy? Love those Carbon Taxes in BC, HAVE IT.

Get aquianted with the rest of Canada. Quebec and Ontario have PRIVATE HEALTH CLINICS, big liberal voters live there that dont complain about it.

CPP is self explaintory, funny how the govt tells you to invest for your retirement so you can live comfortably because CPP cant provide it.

Wheres your facts on the 1%? in the US which relates to your bad math 90 + 1= 91. Wheres the 9%?. Again NO FACTS or refrences just hopeless bias and opinions.

Bagnell has achieved nothing for this territory. Where was he on the gun registration? No where, probably absent because you cant vote against Liberal lines or else your kicked out, remember Nunziatta?

Since your from BC, look at the Liberal provincial govt. Called no fall seesion, what a joke!!!! With everything that needs to be done NOW in BC, Campbell has no fall session and says focus on the upcoming election next year. You can figure that out in your own head.

The sad unsupported points have been proven wrong despite your anti conservative comments. Thats all you have is unnessary comments which wont hold up in any real debate.

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BC Yukoner on Oct 18, 2008 at 8:18 pm

It's great Larry got in again. Kinda funny how you guys are complaining about the economy and blaming the Liberals. Weren't the Cons in charge? All these conservative lovers would soon start crying if the Cons got a majority. Why? You would whine too if health care was privatized, and same with CPP. It is the far right wing dream. The top 1% in the United States have more money than the bottom 90%. That is the society you will have if you continue voting CONservative, emphasis on the CON part.

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Yukon Nile on Oct 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Well it look like Larry got another free ride for being a nice guy. I don't know why people want a guy who does absolutely nothing for them, but gets by because he's nice.

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John crien on Oct 17, 2008 at 8:48 am

The yukon continues to suffer during this economic time, especially now since bagnall got back in. Harper is going to disown the north and every province/territory that voted against him. I for one was smart and voted darryl.

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Arn Anderson on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:19 pm

Great, when is this territory going to learn. Bagnell is not the solution. Let me guess, people voted for him because they "like" him, not for what he has done. Bagnell has done nothing for this territory and will continue to do nothing.

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Francias Pillman on Oct 15, 2008 at 11:40 am

Ahhhhhhh... Hear that? Thats extra money going out the door for your heating oil. What a joke, the Yukon is afraid of change, larry should retire and let a successful young man as Darryl take a shot. Missing money will be the anthem for the Yukon in 2009.

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trudy on Oct 15, 2008 at 9:11 am

im frustrated as to why the yukon would elect a liberal. The government is tory, which it will be for a long time, and yet we elect someone that does not have the power to make positive change in the territory. I just hope that harper has a heart and pours a few bucks into the yukon. Larry wont make a difference unfortunaly

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